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PFT #57 - Personal Finance Tip of the Week: Skipping the Dry Cleaner Saves Money and the Environment

Updated: May 26, 2022

Dry cleaning is one of the most overlooked items in the budget and oftentimes it is not accounted for. The first question is how much does it cost each year.

The unfortunate thing is that this is not a tracked statistic; however, busy professionals, especially in dual households, can easily spend $100 per month. Ouch!

Okay . . . so let’s get question number two. Can your clothes be washed at home?

The answer in many cases is yes; however it is important to understand a few factors.

One is that many manufactures just slap the “dry clean” label on the clothes to be safe from customers providing negative feedback if a garment is damaged.

And for number two, determine the fabric that you are cleaning. Typically, wool, silk, cotton, linen, and durable polyester fabrics can be washed.

Others that are trickier to handle are suede, leather, velvet, taffeta, rayon, and anything with fur or down. In addition, suits, pleated skirts or garments that have oil-based stains are more difficult.

Now when it comes to cleaning items, always perform a small water test where it can’t be seen on the garment. If fabric bleeds, shrinks or warps, then take it to the cleaners.

The bottom line is that it’s your choice on how to handle your clothing,

so do your research first.

With more working remotely, and knowing that for the most part you can clean many of your items at home, this is a win-win formula to save money.

And here’s more thing, considering that dry cleaning uses toxic chemicals, by washing at home, you can do your part to help our environment.

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